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    Hola VPN Review: Why You Should Ignore The Free Version & Go For Hola VPN Premium / FossBytes · Yesterday - 06:09 · 5 minutes

Hola VPN review

The internet is rife with VPNs and therefore it becomes important to choose one wisely. If you are in the market for a VPN service provider, chances are you might get befuddled by the sheer number of options available out there. While you can choose from the best VPNs that are rated highly amongst frequent users, there are other lesser-known options as well that could help you hide your digital footprint.

One such VPN is Hola VPN, which has received notorious reviews for its free version, and rightly so. If you are considering Hola VPN, we have all covered all the points that you must consider before investing your money in it. We used the VPN thoroughly, conducted speed tests, read through privacy policies and also tried unblocking geo-restricted websites.

Here is our comprehensive review of Hola VPN.

Let’s start with the basics.

Hola VPN: How Does It Work?

Before we jump into details, you must know that Hola VPN offers two different versions – a free one and a paid one (Hola Premium). Hola VPN is an Israel-based VPN service that offers its free services based on peer-to-peer technology (which is not a VPN per se) and a paid version which is VPN in the truest sense.

Unlike other best free VPNs that limit the bandwidth or number of servers, the Hola VPN free works on peer-to-peer technology and can be considered a proxy service at max. It means you share your bandwidth with others while using the Hola VPN free version. There are chances that other free users are using your IP address to browse the internet “anonymously”.

Hola advertises its browser extensions as “Hola Free VPN Proxy Unblocker – Best VPN” that uses split tunneling technology to unblock geo-restricted websites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, and more.

Hola VPN Premium, on the other hand, is a proper VPN service albeit their website does not mention the encryption protocols used by the VPN service. There are around 1,000 VPN servers around the world (1,500 for Hola Ultra Advanced VPN users).

Hola VPN Speed & Performance

As is the case with all the VPNs, speed throttling is an unavoidable issue. Surprisingly, Hola VPN premium impressed me in this regard. In the speed tests I conducted over a couple of US and Europe based servers, the speed throttling was almost negligible and the ping rate was between the range of 40 and 100.

Therefore, I have no complaint regarding speed from Hola VPN Premium. Also, the user interface of the Hola VPN macOS app is friendly and you can connect to the VPN with just one click.

Hola VPN: Unlock Netflix, Amazon, Prime & More

If your primary aim behind buying a VPN (Psst! here’s a nifty VPN buying guide ) is to unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime catalogs of different countries and access websites that are blocked in your region, Hola VPN’s browser extensions are what you should go for.

Notably, Hola VPN browser extensions operate on standard VPN protocols and not peer-to-peer technology.

I successfully unblocked the US catalog of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video US. For free users, it is free to stream Netflix and other video streaming sites for 1 hour. However, you should understand that Hola VPN’s free version is more of a proxy owing to its peer-to-peer architecture therefore unblocking blocked websites is naturally the task it is good at.

Torrenting: A Strict No Go

However, if you’re buying Hola VPN for Torrenting, you’re simply wasting your money as Hola’s official website clearly mentions that they do not support torrenting. It says, “ The use of Bittorrent on our network is not allowed, and we are blocking Bittorrent traffic “.

Security & Logging Policy

This is where things start getting murkier. Hola VPN free can be called a cybersecurity’s antagonist. Besides routing your internet traffic through other peers instead of safe servers, Hola VPN also logs plenty of details from you, thus defeating the entire purpose of using a VPN.

If you’re using the free version of Hola VPN, it’s keeping a log of the following information from you:

  • Log data may include the following information – browser type, web pages you visit, time spent on those pages, access times, and dates.
  • Your personal information including your name, email address, and IP address. If you opt to sign up using a third-party account for instance your Google account, Hola will also keep a log of the information stored by Google.
  • If you’re signing up with a social media account, Hola is accessing your basic information including full name, home address, email address, birth date, profile picture, friends list, personal description, as well as any other information you made publicly available on such account.

Hola says the reason why it logs the personal information of users is that it can report any malicious activity to authorities. The website says, “Th ese measures are probably what make Hola the least attractive VPN for people with malicious or illegal intent to use. They much prefer the various other VPNs that promise not to keep logs “.

Hola Premium, however, has a strict no-log policy. If you are a premium customer, Hola will not store logs of your activity, including no logging of browsing history, traffic destination, data content, or DNS queries.

Interestingly, I had to manually turn on the “No logs” option in my Premium account as it was disabled by default.

To sum up, Hola VPN is intrusive and lacks a proper security mechanism to keep the privacy of its users intact. In fact, the free version mooches the IP address and bandwidth of users without informing them properly. Therefore, if you’re buying a VPN for cybersecurity, my best advice would be to steer clear of Hola VPN free. The paid version has all the features, you’d want in a good VPN therefore, your first choice should be Hola VPN Premium.

Hola VPN Pricing

Hola VPN offers a free service that works on peer-to-peer technology; it’s a proxy service and not a VPN. if you’re opting for the more-secure premium version, here are the prices of Hola VPN:

  • $2.99/mo for 3-year plan
  • $7.69/mo for the yearly plan
  • $14.99/mo for the monthly plan

Importantly, Hola does not support Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a payment method.

Hola VPN Conclusion

Everything about Hola except its privacy policies and data logging mechanism is great and I understand how silly it sounds especially when we are talking about a VPN service. If you want a website unblocker, Hola VPN is a great option to go.

For privacy enthusiasts, it could be a nightmare owing to the fact that you’re sharing your bandwidth and IP address with another free user who might be a hacker.

Hola Premium does sound reliable and could be a strong contender for one of the best VPNs out there once Hola fixes the impending issues.

The post Hola VPN Review: Why You Should Ignore The Free Version & Go For Hola VPN Premium appeared first on Fossbytes .

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    Loop Hero is out now and I'm going to need help to tear myself away from it / GamingOnLinux · 3 days ago - 21:41 · 4 minutes

Loop Hero, probably the only titles I've pre-ordered in the last few years is officially out now and I really will need some help to pull myself away from running just one more loop.

It's such a strange and beautifully intoxicating mix of genres. For each loop through you're placed into a world full of nothing but a path and it's up to you to build up the world each time. You do this through your deck of cards, while the hero automatically loops around the path and fights enemies along the way without your input. Even though you don't have direct control, there's quite a lot of strategy involved in it.

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Loop Hero is like a an idle clicker, mixed with deck-building, random generation and a little RPG flavour all in one. So very hard to properly describe and I think you truly need to play it for a few hours to fully start to appreciate it. Such an easy game to get into though, thanks to a lot of it being quite hands-off so you can sit back and just watch what's going on. Good for a tired mind, wonderful as a distraction. Style wish it's an odd blend of things too, it's got the look and and sound of a retro game but with a modern feel overall.

"The Lich has thrown the world into a timeless loop and plunged its inhabitants into never ending chaos. Wield an expanding deck of mystical cards to place enemies, buildings, and terrain along each unique expedition loop for the brave hero. Recover and equip powerful loot for each class of hero for their battles and expand the survivors' camp to reinforce each adventure through the loop. Unlock new classes, new cards, and devious guardians on your quest to shatter the endless cycle of despair."

You do have an actual story to progress through in the game too, it's not all about endlessly looping to better your character. Over time you're also building up and upgrading a little village which pulls in more people over time. It's here that you also get a sprinkle of more story content as the loops go on and you manage to encounter more enemies through the game.

Each loop through it starts off the same. It's a blank canvas, a dark void that gets a random path placed into it. The rest is then up to you. Your chosen hero automatically moves and doesn't stop until they hit an enemy (or a group of enemies) on a tile, then they engage in automatic combat until they win or die and move on. The strategy to it is how you place down map features from your deck of cards, along with carefully choosing your hero's equipment which you gain as you battle and take down enemies. Each time around the path, the current loop gets harder and so you do need to keep on top of things and make sure you're properly equipped or send your hero back to the village if things look a bit too dicey.


Choosing equipment is a constant toss up between different effects. There's lot of different items including weapons, rings, shields, armour and more and all of them with different buffs from vampirism to attack speed.

Putting down tiles is something you need to think about too. Plenty of them spawn enemies to fight, some of them have special effects when placed near a certain other tile and there's plenty of hidden features to find like placing down a certain amount of mountains together to turn them into one huge mountain that will then spawn a special creature. There's lots of these little things to discover. It's also sweet that you get to pause the game to build and think for a moment, a nice touch to not make it frantic. You can easily sit back and relax with it, which makes it all the more dangerous to your free time.

Feature Highlight:

  • Infinite Adventure: Select from unlockable character classes and deck cards before setting out on each expedition along a randomly generated loop path. No expedition is ever the same as the ones before it.
  • Plan Your Struggle: Strategically place building, terrain, and enemy cards along each loop to create your own dangerous path. Find balance between the cards to increase your chances of survival while recovering valuable loot and resources for your camp.
  • Loot and Upgrade: Strike down menacing creatures, recover stronger loot to equip on the fly and unlock new perks along the way.
  • Expand Your Camp: Turn hard-earned resources into campsite upgrades and gain valuable reinforcements with each completed loop along the expedition path.
  • Save the Lost World: Overcome a series of unholy guardian bosses over a grand saga to save the world and break the time loop of the Lich!

As another point of appreciation - if you dislike the CRT screen shader effect or the pixel fonts, both can be turned off as there's a proper clear font option and also a font that's supposed to help people with dyslexia. Might possibly have more to say about it after I've played more, there's a lot to get through and it takes quite some time to properly progress on.

This might be my own personal game of the year though, it's going to be really tough to beat it. The Linux version appears to work perfectly too. Fantastic overall.

You can buy Loop Hero on and Steam .

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    The GoD Unit is a brain-tickling first-person physics puzzle game out now / GamingOnLinux · 3 days ago - 15:16 · 2 minutes

With the recent updates to Portal 2 I got a needy feeling for more first-person puzzle goodness and thankfully The GoD Unit seems to deliver on that. Note: key provided by the developer.

The idea here is that you're going to be playing with mass. Using the tried and tested weighted cubes from Portal and other puzzle games, you run around rooms moving cubes around to press down buttons. However, there's quite a bit more than meets the eye here. You're constantly messing around with the mass of these cubes, making them weigh more or less using the special tech in the facility.

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It sprinkles in the humour nicely too, with the narrator joking with you as you go along. There's many clear nods to Portal and other games but due to the design in The GoD Unit it still managed to feel firmly unique. The GoD Unit has been quite a joy to play through. Graphically a bit bland perhaps but it makes up for it with the cleverly designed puzzles and the situations it puts you in, plus the various props used for the puzzles themselves are quite amusing at times.

You'll be doing a big ol' mix of throwing yourself and cubes across the screen on bouncing pads, making some sort of laser fire to power up various equipment and much more. The variety that it offers it great, and it uses the mass mechanic very nicely. As you go through, different buttons require different mass weight and you can change the mass by throwing cubes through a special kind of field that changes it. However, the levels also need you to work through them to activate these fields or to reach them in awkward places. Some are a bit of a maze!



  • Unique mechanics combinations that encourage out-of-the-box thinking
  • 42+ levels ranging from fairly simple to "I just want to lie down and cry" challenging
  • Scattered pieces of lore that reward the most attentive players
  • Jokes that are hopefully funny to anyone besides the authors

The GoD Unit might be one of my bigger surprises so far this year, as something I definitely wasn't expecting to be this good. It's not on the level of The Talos Principle or Portal but it's absolutely worth picking up if those are the types of titles you enjoy.

You can buy it on Steam .

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    New Tata Safari Review — Better Than Harrier Or Hector Plus? / FossBytes · Friday, 26 February - 08:17 · 5 minutes

tata safari 2021 full view

The new Tata Safari is basically a longer Harrier and is the three-row version that was first displayed at the 2020 Auto Expo. In the Tata range, Safari is the flagship SUV being sold over the Harrier at a premium; thus, for the extra money, you get an updated design plus a longer car along with a more luxurious interior plus the three-row seating, of course.

New Tata Safari 2021 Review

How does it look?

new tata safari 2021 sideview Images: Fossbytes

The new Safari looks brilliant and has lots of road presence when seen for the first time and also looks longer than the Harrier, which it is. The extra length of nearly 65mm over the Harrier gives it a more elegant design, which adds to the looks, no doubt. Compared to the Harrier, the Safari has been designed to look more premium; hence you get the grille, which is finished in chrome and the same goes for the headlamp surrounds below. However, the side and the rear styling have more differences, and it is where you can see the new look. Unlike the Harrier, the roofline has been increased, and there is now a rear quarter glass being added for the third row.

Also, notice the nice way the roof-rails look somewhat like the previous Safari, and the “Safari” badge looks well done. Safari also wears bigger shoes as it gets 18-inch alloy wheels. There is not much choice in terms of colors as you get only three options: Royale Blue, Orcus White, and Daytona Grey.

wheel and ground clearance safari 2021

What about the interiors?

The interiors impressed us more than the exteriors; here, the differentiation is more evident, and the execution of the design is amongst the best we have seen from any Tata Motors car. It feels tough — from the solid doors to the big steering wheel, along with chunky switchgear. It feels big and sturdy — something which owners will like.

The old Safari was outdated, and here we are glad Tata Motors did not see the past. The new Safari cabin looks really premium with a white interior and seats and the classy ashwood used, plus there is leather used on the door pads. The dashboard has soft-touch materials and also has an anti-reflective top-layer that looks/feels classy. This is one of the top-tier cabins for the price.

Some crucial changes make life easier when compared to living with a Harrier. There is an electronic handbrake for one, and the USP port location is also easier to access. The steering wheel has buttons that are easy to use, while the part digital instrument cluster is also nice, even if not quite as tech-focused as its rivals with a full digital cluster.

The touch screen at 8.8-inches could have been bigger too as all other SUVs in this segment have vastly bigger screens. We also think the quality of the touch display along with rearview camera graphics could be better.

That said, the Safari does quite well in the overall features count with equipment like a panoramic sunroof (one of the largest that we have seen in this class), 6-way Powered Driver Seat with adjustable lumbar support, captain seats, auto headlamps, drive modes, electronic parking brake, 9-speaker JBL audio system, Android Auto and Apple Car Play Connectivity plus connected tech, 6 airbags and more. However, wireless charging is missing from the features list.

Is Safari 2021 spacious?

Absolutely! Since one of the biggest reasons to buy Safari is the space and comfort on offer. The white color looks inviting, and once inside, the middle row is the best place to be with the Captain Seating layout. The standard is a 7-seater bench, but the 6-seater Captain’s Seats is the better option. The seats are superb and are very comfortable while having the right cushioning. Legroom and headroom are also fantastic in the second row. There are also special features include a boss mode to create even more space by moving the front seats ahead, while the 2nd row also gets a 60:40 Split along with auto climate control, ambient mood lighting, and plenty of storage space.

The third row is surprisingly good, and access to it is best via the space between the captain’s seats; once in, even tall passengers will not complain. Yes, thigh support is less, but headroom is good and you also get a separate blower control and USB ports.

What’s the technology on offer?

The Safari is the second Tata Motors car to get connected technology and it gets various features like location-based services, vehicle diagnostics, remote features (remote lock/unlock etc.), over-the-air updates, and vehicle security services. It also gets Terrain response modes connected to the ESP along with offroad ABS, traction control, hill-hold, electronic stability control, hill-descent control and more.

How is new Safari to drive?

The Safari gets the same 2.0 turbo diesel present in the Harrier along with the same 6-speed manual and automatic gearbox. It is a monocoque chassis-based SUV (For instance, Fortuner is a ladder-frame) and based on the same Land Rover platform. Controversially, it does not get a 4×4, unlike the last Safari.

While Tata Safari is heavier than Harrier, performance is the same as the diesel engine plus automatic being the best combination rather than manual, requiring more effort. The engine starts with a typical diesel noise but soon settles into a smooth idle. On the go, the automatic gearbox is nice and smooth for city traffic. The steering requires more effort though, since it is a bit heavy but gets better at higher speeds. Speaking of which, the Harrier is pretty responsive and cruises very well.

It gets drive modes, and Sport mode is very quick and does enough for all those highway overtakes. It is also brilliant in its stability. Unlike the previous Safari, the new one is much better and does not have too much body roll. Braking for such a heavy car is decent but could have been more confidence-inspiring. Superb ground clearance and terrain response modes are also enough to offer off-road capability for most situations other than hardcore off-roading.

Should you buy Tata Safari 2021?

Prices for the Safari start at Rs 14.6 lakh while the fully loaded version is Rs 21.4 lakh. That makes it good value on the basis of its design, space and the excellent suspension which makes for a comfortable family SUV. Getting one over the Harrier is a bit of a no-brainer due to the extra space, features and the added road presence. It is also a better packaged product. Over its immediate rivals, the Hector Plus has more features and a petrol engine while the Safari has the looks and the capability.

Overall, if you want a big SUV with comfort, features and the ability to go over any road surface with ease, then you should look at the Tata Safari. It is a lot better than the earlier Safari too, we might add!

The post New Tata Safari Review — Better Than Harrier Or Hector Plus? appeared first on Fossbytes .

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    Of Mice and Moggies is an absolutely puzzle game of constant cat-and-mouse / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 23 February - 22:19 · 2 minutes

Of Mice and Moggies is a game of cat and mouse, quite literally, as you step by step chase around mice and other animals in small but very clever puzzles. The adorable setting, as well as the excellent presentation and well designed puzzles are worth a look. Note : key provided by the developer.

Hold on, I gave you the conclusion right away there didn't i? Well, sometimes it just has to be said. it really is a genuine delight to play through with such an usual but very charming setting that steadily showed me how terrible dumb I am at solving puzzles. Of Mice and Moggies plays a bit like a block-pushing puzzle game, but the blocks are other animals and they run away from you. So you have to use your moves smartly to catch them, using the limited tiles and environment.

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Honestly I saw the trailer, watched it twice, and thought it might be one to save for a rainy day. I can't help it, sometimes other things take priority. However, I decided to just get down and try it and gosh, what a great decision that was. It's completely adorable and only gets better as you play more of it.

Cat and mouse? Hah, easy…oh there's now three of them and I have to take all of their movements into account? Yeah, I can do that — five attempts later, 30 minutes passed and I'm still sat there scratching my head. You eventually get it though, when suddenly the movements just click and you manage to catch all these pesky little critters running away from you. We just don't talk about how many steps it took me on that one.

How it builds up on the simple mechanics is delightful too. Mice only take one step, then you face Lizards which keep going until stopped or they leave the area so you lose when spooked, Rabbits too and they can leap over tiles and more. Then it starts mixing them together and your brain will get a bit of a workout for sure.


The game has over 100 challenging levels built in too, along with a medal system and a score for each one based on how many steps you take and you can even unlock some mini-games. Quite a surprising amount of content hiding in the grass with this one.

Even better is that you can make your own levels with the built-in editor, which is what they used themselves.

Nice to see even more games appearing built with Godot Engine too, the free and open source game engine.

A wonderfully easy suggestion to go and play, recommended happily. Buy Of Mice and Moggies on Steam .

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    Renault Kiger Compact SUV Review — Mileage, Features, And Pictures / FossBytes · Monday, 22 February - 11:10 · 6 minutes

renault kiger on road

The Renault Kiger is the most “VFM” SUV that you can buy, but as our review says, there are enough reasons to buy one other than its affordable pricing.

What is the Renault Kiger all about?

Meet the Venue/Sonet rival from Renault; while they may have taken their time, Renault has entered the subcompact SUV space with a bang. Called Kiger, this is based on the same platform as Triber and is also about both affordability and value. Kiger is in-fact priced a step below the other established SUVs in this segment and aims to lure hatchback buyers into upgrading to an SUV but without hurting their wallets too much.

Renault Kiger has been developed with keeping our requirements; with the top-end version well below the Rs 10 lakh price-bracket, Kiger surely has a lot of potential to do well. But is it spacious or feature-packed plus how is the engine in terms of performance? We drove the turbo petrol Kiger to answer just that and more!

kiger front view

Renault Kiger Review

How does it look?

A crucial victory for Renault is the looks of the Kiger as that is half the battle won. It looks different from other subcompact SUVs and has its own style which appeals to us and also a lot of the public judging by the reactions it got on our test drive. Finished in this blue color, the Kiger looks very good and also has a youthful flair along with a sense of style — it is not shy at all. It is, however, less of a proper SUV in terms of lacking the typical boxy appeal. The lines are curvier and it is more like a crossover.

Still, you cannot miss those LED DRLs at the top along with the cluster of LED headlamps below with the grille also being divided. The grille is big and lends the Kiger a lot of presence on the road. You will also see roof-rails along with the equally good-looking 16-inch diamond-cut alloys. It is when seen from the side that the Kiger looks a bit less like an SUV due to the roof which goes downward but it does give it a futuristic look. Renault has also put in cladding at the sides and rear while the roof is black for a dual-tone look.

The rear is again more of a raised hatchback but the edgy tail-lamps are again very well executed and the roof-spoiler is also a nice touch. It certainly aims at the younger crowds, but it’s a design that grabs more attention than some of the other SUVs out there.

What about the interiors?

We have to say that the interior of the Kiger surprised us and it feels better built than the Nissan Magnite, another SUV which is also built on the same platform as the Kiger. The design is suitably premium, and it goes for an all-black look which is again another hint towards its sportiness. The interior shares more with the Triber but compared to that car, the Kiger is more luxurious! There is gloss black on the steering wheel and center console, and there is an 8-inch touch screen and a digital TFT instrument cluster. Some nice touches are the switches for climate control which are well finished!

You will also see a round knob for the drive modes. The instrument cluster is basic though but the design is nice and it gives you the information that you need. Also, the image of Kiger on the digital dials is a nice touch. The touch screen is simple in design too and has lesser options as compared to other cars, for example, a Sonet, but is neatly done and has a decent enough touch response. We would also say that the screen showing the rearview camera is of very good quality. The cabin does not feel built to a price as a whole but the lower half of the dashboard does get some hard plastic and more soft-touch materials could have been used.

What is the technology onboard?

It all starts with the key which is a hands-free access card and it looks cool along with being different (other Renault cars also have this type of key). Other than that, the reconfigurable instrument cluster gets a TFT screen that changes color according to the driving mode selected via the knob on the center console.

renault kiger dashboard

Other features include climate control, steering controls, white ambient lighting, wireless charging, rear ac vents, four airbags plus more importantly a PM2.5 Clean Air Filter. The audio system on the Kiger is an Arkamys 3D unit and sounds fairly good while being better than some of the other sub-compact SUVs. There is, however, no sunroof or connected technology.

Is it spacious?

Absolutely! Kiger surprised us how it can squeeze out so much space inside its compact size and it’s all down to the platform it uses. The seats are a bit thin but offer decent comfort but the real deal is the space between them. Renault says that there is a 710-mm Couple Distance between seats while to us the cabin does feel airy. The rear due to the sloping roof feels a bit compact initially but the sheer space inside at the rear seat is very good. Legroom is excellent as is headroom plus you can squeeze in a middle passenger with a flat floor (nearly). The 405l boot is also the biggest! Further on, we liked the center armrest storage which holds 10.5l and the door pockets can hold 1l bottles.

How was our driving experience?

The Kiger is going via the petrol-only route with a pair of 1.0 three-cylinder petrol engines. The base spec engine is the same 1.0 petrol found in the Triber which makes 72PS and 96Nm. The turbo petrol 1.0 makes 100PS and 160Nm. For both engines, you get a standard 5-speed manual, while the 1.0 has an AMT gearbox the turbo petrol gets a CVT automatic. We drove the turbo petrol manual and found this engine likable.

It does not have the best refinement though and some vibrations do creep inside the cabin and overall some noise is there. That aside, the Kiger feels compact and easy to maneuver while the gearbox itself is not heavy along with the clutch. Thanks to the turbo you also do not need to always downshift to lower gears at low speeds as the torque pulls through. That, along with the compact size, makes it an ideal-sized SUV to tackle our cities. The ride at city speeds is also firm but not uncomfortable, however, the 205mm ground clearance makes tackling speed-breakers and potholes an easy task.

Out in the highway, Kiger also felt reasonably powerful and the engine felt quick — no doubt helped by the lightweight nature of the Kiger. The gearing is also correct and you do not feel it is running out of breath or is lacking extra gear. We would say that most of our driving was done with the Sport mode selected for the Kiger as that is where it performs with the most enthusiasm. Normal mode is decent but lacks punch while eco mode, not intolerable at all, has a throttle response that is blunted quite a bit. You will get 12-14kmpl overall in terms of its fuel economy though.

Should you buy Renault Kiger?

There are four trim levels but we say get straight to the top for the turbo petrol manual or CVT since the turbo petrol is much better suited for city or highway driving along with coping with a full load of passengers. The manual top-end turbo petrol is Rs 8.5 lakh and that is great value for the looks, features, and space on offer. Sure the engine is a bit on the noisy side and some features are missing here, but you cannot miss the value for money proposition that Renault brings here. It is a lot cheaper than other subcompact SUVs and makes for a great if you are shopping for your first SUV.

The post Renault Kiger Compact SUV Review — Mileage, Features, And Pictures appeared first on Fossbytes .

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    Citroen C5 Aircross Review – India Specs, Features, Mileage, Images / FossBytes · Monday, 22 February - 08:26 · 6 minutes

citroen C5 Aircross

Meet Citroen, a new car-maker that is the latest entrant to the Indian market. It may be new to us but Citroen is more than 100 years old and has been a mainstream car-maker hailing from France. It makes premium as well as mass-market cars. In India, it will compete with the likes of Hyundai, Kia, MG, and others. It is taking a top to bottom approach and first giving India a feel of what this brand is all about with the C5 Aircross. The C5 Aircross is a premium 5-seater luxury SUV that will rival Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass amongst others, and Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace.

Citroen C5 Aircross Review

How does Citroen C5 Aircross look?

Unlike anything, right? The C5 Aircross stands head and shoulders above other SUVs for its unique design and styling. That is a very French way of doing things by the way! Other than the Tiguan All-Space, the C5 is bigger than all other SUVs with a length of 4500mm, width of 1969mm, and also has a healthy ground clearance of 230mm. It sits on 18-inch wheels which would be standard.

There’s no doubt that you would be giving the C5 Aircross a second glance when you see it for the first time with that huge grille which is brilliantly executed, and that massive Citroen logo that connects the headlamps to the grille. The grille is divided into two layers — even the front bumper gets colored red inserts. There is also a healthy amount of cladding and the obligatory skid plate.

Move your eyes to the side and the surfacing is sleek while the roof gently flows in. There is a floating roof that wraps around the car while the A/B pillars are black for a sporty dual-tone effect. Speaking of which, there are seven color combinations on offer, including three dual-tone ones. Rounding off the overall design is the rear, which has interesting-looking tail-lamps which give the C5 a “crossover” look while the cladding along with the neat-looking exhausts adds a touch of SUV-like presence. You will note the C5 has roof rails and yes, these are functional ones!

What about the interiors?

The French know style well and the C5 Aircross interior is stylish all right along with being well put together also. However, that is the least you would expect from an SUV with an estimated price-tag of nearly Rs 30 lakhs! The design is welcoming and the quality is amongst the best in class. The dashboard and other areas that you regularly touch are all soft and high quality while even below the dashboard you will see uniform quality everywhere. The intelligent use of leather and wool is also another area where the C5 cabin gets good marks.

The steering wheel is thick and big in size but is nice to hold while behind that is a 12.3-inch TFT display. The center console is very well executed with an 8-inch touch screen along with multiple air vents stacked alongside. Notice the touch surfaces below, which have some important shortcut buttons while even the volume knob is high in quality. The gear lever is on the other side of the driver which is a bit of a hassle to reach out but there is the traction mode knob taking space elsewhere.

Is it practical or spacious?

There are plenty of storage options including cup holders, multiple storage places in the centre console and big enough door pockets to store a large water bottle. The boot space is 580l while removing the rear seats will get you 1630l of space. Another area where the C5 impressed us is the seats!

The front seats are broad and cushioned very well which offer superb comfort and the same goes for the rear seats which are soft plus set at a nice angle to relax.

The space at the rear is not huge despite the size but the fact that these seats can be reclined and moved individually, gives it additional flexibility.

Is Citroen C5 Aircross feature-packed?

You get nearly everything including some “must-have” features like dual-zone climate control, cruise control, touch screen with Android Auto/Apple Car Play, rear view camera, tyre pressure monitoring system, panoramic sunroof, powered driver’s seat, electronic parking brake and more.

Some features which stood out were the hands-free parking, cool puddle lamps, front plus rear parking sensors, a hands-free boot release, blind spot monitoring system, an on-board air quality system, and a “coffee break alert”.

How’s the technology on-board?

The digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel is neat and comes with three display modes — all are easy to read and contain a ton of information. When it comes to the central touch-screen, the infotainment system is nice and easy to use with neatly stacked icons along with a responsive touch. The coffee alert system activates when you are driving for more than two hours above 65 km/h while the blind spot assist does help you navigate the car through traffic with constant alerts. We also liked the audio system in terms of its sound quality — it’s among the better audio systems in its class.

How does it drive?

Citroen is keeping things simple with just one engine option and one standard automatic gearbox. The engine in question is a 2.0l diesel which develops 175BHP and 400Nm torque. There is no 4×4 but it does get the Grip control which is connected with the Hill Descent control. To us more impressive than the engine is the 8-speed automatic which is smooth in its nature and is suited to the C5. The thick steering wheel may seem large but it is very light and driving it in stop-go traffic is next to no effort and the same goes for the gearbox or engine. For typical everyday traffic, the C5 is very well suited with its good visibility and light steering.

When taken out on the highway, the engine sounds a bit gruff and gets loud when driven hard. There are paddle shifters behind the steering wheel and there are drive modes of course but you get the feeling that the engine does not like being hurried. At slow speeds, you get some diesel noise and it gets increased at high speeds. That said, the stability is very nice and it is also a good handling SUV with body roll kept in check. Even though C5 is a big SUV, it does not feel so when driving it. In terms of fuel economy, the official figure is 18.6 kmpl while we got 13-15 kmpl.

How is the suspension?

The C5 promises “comfort” above other things and the main reason for that is the suspension which uses hydraulic cushions. We drove the car over rough surfaces and uneven roads plus some off-roading to find that the C5 Aircross does live up to some of that promise as this suspension absorbs the impact but does not transmit it to the cabin. It is quite stable over bad roads while the suspension is tuned to be soft for a comfortable feel. Yes, it is not as agile as a Compass but you get a softer and a better ride, which we think will appeal more to customers in India.

Should I buy Citroen C5 Aircross?

The C5 Aircross will not be cheap with an expected price-tag starting from Rs 30 lakh but we think it has what it takes to justify that on the basis of its looks and the comfort that it provides along with its luxury quotient. It will be first sold through special dealerships in only ten cities known as the “La Maison Citroen” dealership concept, and it’ll slowly expand its footprint to more cities. However, there is also a showroom on wheels concept for places where there isn’t a proper showroom. Overall, the C5 Aircross is the perfect brand builder for Citroen and will appeal to those who aren’t seeking a run-of-the-mill luxury SUV.

The post Citroen C5 Aircross Review – India Specs, Features, Mileage, Images appeared first on Fossbytes .

  • Ar chevron_right

    The Land Rover Defender—rugged, charming, but drinks like a fish / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 18 February - 22:49 · 1 minute

I wasn't expecting to be quite as charmed as I was by the Land Rover Defender. We first saw the new Defender at 2019's Frankfurt auto show , where it proved to be a hit by marrying rugged looks and off-road skills with a healthy helping of tech. Even though I fell for its looks, I was trepidatious about spending a week with one, having failed to gel with most Land Rovers in the past. As I found out, those fears were misplaced (mostly), for the Defender was not at all agricultural in behavior, unlike its 20th-century forerunners.

But before we go any further, an apology of sorts, or at least an explanation. Last September, Land Rover held a media first-drive event for the SUV, where journalists got to spend a couple of days driving up and down Mount Equinox in the Taconics. Alas, Ars couldn't attend because of scheduling conflicts—instead, we used that time to test a couple of electric vehicles instead. And so, although the Defender is built to go off-road, the best I managed during my week with it was some radical parking, as seen in the gallery above.

Therefore, I don't know how well it fords water up to 35.4 inches (900mm) deep. I don't know how well it approaches breaks-over or departs from obstacles (at angles of 38˚, 28˚, and 40˚, respectively). I can't really tell you how good the permanent four-wheel-drive system, with twin speed transfer case and optional locking center and rear differentials, works on rough ground. I can't opine on how well the various software systems—Terrain Response 2, All Terrain Progress Control, Hill Descent Control—manage the task of keeping you right-side up and moving in the intended direction. Which makes this review somewhat lacking, given that stuff is basically the Defender's raison d'être . Mea culpa .

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